Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How do you UN-ADDICT yourself from your smartphone?

Hi guys!  This post is about something I've been thinking about for a while.  Smartphone addiction.

I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to my phone and before I got my phone I was addicted to my tablet and before that it was my computer.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that mindlessly checks for texts, emails, new pictures on instagram or new posts on facebook too many times throughout the day.  It's been driving me crazy lately and I've been trying to think of ways to "unaddict" myself from my phone.
Last year we switched our home phone number over to a smart phone, so I started carrying my cell phone with me all the time, at least when my kids are at school or away from home and might need to get ahold of me.  Then in April of this year my little not-smart phone stopped working and I switched to a smartphone.  I also started texting, which I hadn't done in the past.  Since then I feel like my phone is always glued to me.  I'd like to keep it close just in case my family needs me, but I need to remember that it's a phone first of all.

I'd love to hear the things that you do to use your smartphone wisely?

I've been thinking about little things that might help me from checking my phone too many times throughout the day.  I'd love to hear your ideas that you do.

Do you have your phone make notification sounds when you get a new message, email, text or comment?  I'm experimenting with this.  I feel like I need to be able to know if there are new texts because my friends and I communicate a lot through texting about picking up and dropping off our kids.  But my phone should light up if there is something new.

This morning my phone made a notification noise and my almost two year old ran over to where it was and yelled "phone, phone!"  Which makes me think that maybe the phone is being overused.

Do you check your email whenever you see there is a new message?  Or do you only check it certain times throughout the day?  Or do you only check your email on your computer, not on your phone?

Do you limit your Instagram checking and Facebook checking to only once a day?  Or do you mindlessly click on the app to see what's new throughout the day?

I periodically remove the facebook app from my phone, so it's harder to me to check facebook.  I was hoping that this would help.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it doesn't.  I can still check facebook through the internet browsers on my phone.  :)

Do you check pinterest when you're bored?  I've finally kicked my pinterest addiction by not even putting the app on my phone.  I occasionally check it on the computer or on my tablet, except that my tablet officially just died, so that's not a worry anymore.

Do you use your phone to know what time it is?  I did all the time until I finally bought a watch a few weeks ago.  It's made a huge difference!  It's so handly too...the time there right on my wrist.  Watches are great inventions!  Ha!

I'm teaching a lesson in Relief Society on Sunday to all the women at church and some teenage girls and the lesson happens to be talking about this very thing, plus other things.  The lesson is on a General Conference talk given to the young men in our church last April, "The Choice Generation."  I love the things that I've learned from studying this talk.  It came at the perfect time.

A few things that I loved from his talk.

"Follow the adage “Be where you are when you are there.” When you are driving, drive. When you are in class, focus on the lesson. When you are with your friends, give them the gift of your attention. 

Your brain cannot concentrate on two things at once. Multitasking amounts to quickly shifting your focus from one thing to another. 

An old proverb says, “If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch either one.”

I've been thinking about this...being where you are when you are there.  How many times have I been listening to someone tell me something and then hear a ding announcing a new text and have checked it while "listening".  Usually this makes me not remember what the person even said and makes me look totally rude.  Sorry if I've done this to you.  I'm going to try to do better. :)

Anyway...I'd love to hear things that you do to keep yourself from being glued to your phone all the time, while still enjoying the great convenience that it is.  I'd love it if you shared.  Then I can be unaddicted!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 297 Menu

Hi friends!  Happy Tuesday!  I just got back in town from a weekend trip with my hubby and little guy.

I'm so thankful for the super great, sweet, fabulous friends that I have that took care of my other three kiddos and got them off to school, fed them, packed lunches, did homework, got them to play practice, to early morning band practice, took them to church, etc., etc., etc.

I had a great time having a break from all of those things, plus eating out, running and walking along a beautiful river, reading a book, etc.

Now it's back to normal life, plus a lot of laundry piles.  At least it's all clean laundry though.  I'm off to hit the grocery store, but I menu planned first, so here it is:

Monday: we had chicken pot pie from my freezer (I love freezer meals!)

Tuesday: Waikiki meatballs, rice, veggies

Wednesday: parmesan chicken strips, roasted new potatoes (freshly dug)

Thursday: spaghetti with turkey meatballs, easy, yummy french bread

Friday: pancakes

Saturday: homemade pizza

Sunday: perfect pot roast, new potatoes, carrots, gravy, one hour rolls 

After I hit the grocery store, I need to whip up some peanut butter cookies that my five-year-old sweetly requested twice yesterday.  And then attempt to make a yoda costume and a goddess costume out of a pile of fabric.  Hopefully my sewing machine cooperates.  Ugh.  Not a seamstress.  Too bad I'm a kid-pleaser and I'm too cheap to buy each kid a $25 costume.

Have a great day!  And if you feel like becoming my favorite person of the day, post your menu too.  :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 296 Menu

Hi there guys!  Today is a it's-Tuesday-but-feels-like-Monday for me since my family was home yesterday because of Columbus Day.

We had a great weekend.  Nice and relaxing and long!  On Sunday we made Chocolate Pudding Bundt cake for the first time in a while.  I've forgotten how good it is.  And easy.  And pretty!  But too bad I didn't take a picture because we were too busy eating it.  And did I mention it doesn't have any butter/oil in the cake?  Just lots of chocolate.

I love fall!  Especially in New chile roasting, chile ristras everywhere, pumpkins, sweater wearing.  I could do without being cold though.  I hate being cold.

Since I've already spent way too long on the computer this morning, I'll make this short and sweet.

Menu time:

Monday: leftover orange chicken from Sunday

Tuesday: spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Wednesday:  grill burgers

Thursday:  breakfast burritos

Friday:  leftovers

Saturday:  easy

Sunday:  homemade pizza

What are you making this week?  What are your fall favorites where you live?


Friday, October 10, 2014

Bits and Pieces: 10th Edition Some Thoughts going into the Weekend

Hi guys!  It's a rainy, kind of chilly day, but at least it's Friday!  Can't wait to sleep in tomorrow...or at least not to have to make lunches and prep backpacks before 8 am.

A few things I wanted to share today:

1.  I've been reading in the news a lot about Ebola and other tragedies that are going on.  It's heartbreaking and scary.  Then I was thinking about how silly it is that I posted about "how to keep your house from smelling like food."  That seems kind of superficial and snotty that I'm worried about my house smelling like onions when there are lots of other people that are suffering right now.  The more I've thought about it, I've decided that it's not that I don't care, it's that there are some things that you can't do anything about except pray, I guess.  And sometimes you need a distraction from all the bad things things by posting about fluffy things like making your house smell good.

I am thankful that I have food.  And a house to make food in.  And that my family is healthy.  And that we live in a free, educated, wonderful country.  I'm so blessed.

2.  Now onto more unimportant fluffy talk.  :)  Is it too early to eat pretzels dipped in nutella for breakfast?  Shoot...hope it's not.  This morning was one of those crazy can't-find-my-library-book-I-don't-want-to-get-dressed-make-three-totally-different-lunches-fix-math-homework-late-for-the-bus-so-drive-to-school kind of mornings.  Cartoons for my baby guy and a little nutella and pretzel treat for me and now we're ready to face the day.  Good thing I got up early to go to the gym, right?

3.  My garden is finally (now that it's October) producing some lovely red tomatoes.  I'm pretty much the only one in my family that enjoys them, so I've been eating them for lunch and dinner.   So sweet and yummy (better than nutella and pretzels...almost).

4.  Can't wait for this weekend!  The kids don't have school on Monday.  Looking forward to that for sure!  Maybe we'll head to Albuquerque tomorrow and hit the end of the balloon fiesta.  

Or maybe we'll go see Meet the Mormons in theater!  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, you should go see it.  
I'm excited to see it, especially the stories about the candy bomber, the football coach and the fighter.

All righty...guess I go make beds, clear up the breakfast dishes, do the laundry, etc. Have a fabulous Friday!

Feel free to share what you're up to this weekend!  Photobucket
Check out my other bits and pieces posts here.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Don't like your house to smell like food? I've got a kitchen tip for that!

I have a smallish, one story house and if I cook food that is kind of smelly, like onions, the smell tends to linger in every room.  This is a pet peeve of mine and (also my husband's).  Over the years I've found a few ways to cook smelly food without smelling up the kitchen.

Use your garage!  

I use my garage quite often to cook things in.  I open the window and it airs out, especially when you open the garage door.  I'm sure my neighbors wonder what I'm cooking.

I've used two different kitchen appliances in the garage:  my crockpot and my food dehydrator.

Crockpot - I did this very thing today since I'm simmering chicken, onions, carrots and celery to make chicken noodle soup tonight.  I don't want my house to smell like onions all day, so I plugged it in on my husband's workbench.  

Food dehydrator - when I make jerky, I plug the food dehydrator in in the garage.  I don't really want my house to smell like meat for hours while it dehydrates.  It makes the garage smell yummy, and I'm glad I don't have to smell it in my bedroom.

Use your grill!
My grill has one burner on the side (don't judge me for my really dirty grill - it works at least!).  I use this little burner all the time, especially during Thanksgiving when I have to saute oodles of onions for stuffing and turkey soup. 

I use it to saute onions and peppers when I make fajitas while I grill the chicken.  Or sometimes I poke holes in an aluminum cake pan and saute them right on the grill.

I've even made soup outside on the little burner.  Stinks up my neighborhood, not my house.  :)

Plug it in on the deck.
Take advantage of your outside outlets and plug things in outside.  I'm not so sure that this is the safest option, but I think it's fine just as long as you don't plug it in in the rain or now.  I wouldn't set my crockpot outside on my deck though or something that has to cook for a long time.  I would use an electric skillet outside though.

I have cooked lots of bacon outside on my electric skillet on my deck.  I blogged about this clear back in the 2009.  You might want to put something underneath the skillet so it doesn't get your deck greasy.  (This isn't really a problem for me because my deck really needs to be replaced.)

There you have it.  My tips for cooking outside so your house stays nice and normal smelling inside.  When it does get smelly, I usually just bake banana bread or rolls or something.  Or if I really want to impress someone that's coming over, I get out the lysol and clean my wood floor.  I'd rather bake than clean any day. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sweet Crepes: My kids' favorite breakfast!

If you ask my kids what they want for breakfast for their birthday, they'll either answer Lucky Charms or crepes.  Not really comparable, but I would definitely choose crepes.
Crepes are one of my favorite "special" breakfasts to make.  I don't make them on school days or on Sundays if we have 9:00 church.  They take a little while to make one by one, especially since they're usually snatched up the second they hit the platter.

I made these last weekend since we didn't have to go to church early since it was General Conference weekend and we got to watch "church" at home.

I didn't get a picture of a beautifully wrapped crepe, because, really, they were scarfed down so quickly, I was lucky to get a couple of them.  They're that yummy, I guess!

My sister-in-law, Melinda, and her husband made delicious, huge, crepes on a real crepe pan.  Mine are much less fancy, smaller and made in a skillet.  Still yummy though!  I'd take a crepe made by Norm any day though.  :)

I love that crepes can be topped with anything.  I'm not a huge fan of savory crepes.  I need a little nutella in my crepe, not spinach and sausage.

Here are a few of our favorite crepe topping combos:
  • Powdered sugar (my daughter loves crepes with only powdered sugar in them.  Just be careful not to inhale or you'll cough.  ha!)
  • peanut butter, nutella, and banana (my favorite)
  • homemade raspberry jam
  • nutella, jam and powdered sugar (my 5 year old's creation)
  • berries and whipped cream
  • peaches and cinnamon syrup (so yummy!)
The possibilities are endless.  And delicious! 

Sweet Crepes

Makes about 12 or more crepes, depending on how big you make them
 - I usually double this recipe for my family of 6.

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • butter, for greasing pan
  1. In a blender or with an immersion blender, blend together eggs, milk, flour, oil, salt and sugar until well mixed.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet (I use my big 11" Kitchenaid non-stick skillet) and grease with a little butter. 
  3.  When the skillet is hot, pour a round circle of batter (about 2 T. or more) in the center of the skillet. Lift and tilt to spread batter thinly. Very carefully flip crepe when it starts to bubble and is slightly brown (happens quickly, less than a minute). Cook other side for several seconds and then invert onto a plate.
  4. Repeat with remaining batter, occasionally greasing skillet with butter.
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook